Will see if list of unparliamentary words apply ‘draconianly’: Shashi Tharoor

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There was a massive outcry from the opposition over some common usage words classified as unparliamentary in a Lok Sabha secretariat pamphlet

There was a massive outcry from the opposition over some common usage words classified as unparliamentary in a Lok Sabha secretariat pamphlet

Amid the row of unparliamentary words, senior congressional official Shashi Tharoor said on Sunday he would treat the list of words as indicative rather than definitive and “speak normally” in the House and see if it is applied in any way. “draconian manner” to stifle meaningful criticism. .

In an interview with PTIMr Tharoor said the list is a compilation of words that have been deemed unparliamentary by various Speakers over the past two years, and asserted that what will matter is how it is applied in practice.

Some are common words that come up in parliamentary debates all the time and it’s possible they were dropped in a specific context that wouldn’t apply in other contexts, the former Union minister said .

“In any case, a decision by one president is not necessarily binding on another. I would therefore treat this list as indicative rather than definitive, I would speak normally and see if it is applied in a drastic way to stifle meaningful criticism” , said Mr Said Tharoor.

As always, the implementation is the key, not the list itself, asserted the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram.

Asked that some see the list as a “gag order”, Mr Tharoor said it was not an instruction but an indication.

“Erasure always takes place after unparliamentary words have been spoken and not in anticipation. So no one needs to feel gagged,” Mr Tharoor said.

There was a massive outcry from the opposition over some common usage words classified as unparliamentary in a Lok Sabha secretariat pamphlet.

Use of terms like ‘jumlajeevi’, ‘baal buddhi’, ‘Covid spreader’ and ‘Snoopgate’ and even commonly used words like ‘shame’, ‘abused’, ‘betrayal’, ‘corrupt’, ‘drama’, ‘hypocrisy’ and “incompetent” will now be considered unparliamentary in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, according to the new Lok Sabha secretariat pamphlet.

After outrage over the question, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla stepped in and made it clear that no words had been banned from use in Parliament but would be removed on a contextual basis.

Asked about the circular from the Rajya Sabha secretariat stating that demonstrations, dharnas or religious ceremonies cannot take place within the precincts of Parliament, Mr Tharoor said that there are many such rules, but that the evolution of parliamentary practice in India has led to frequent breaches of rules and disruptions, often preceded by shouting of slogans, demonstrations with placards and crowds in the shaft of the House, which are explicitly prohibited.

“Personally, I have never been in favor of such behavior, but the opposition, regardless of the opposition party, often tends to think that the system does not give them a fair opportunity to raise their problems and therefore resorts to such behavior to make its case,” Mr Tharoor said.

“We would all prefer a debate to a disruption, but the government must step up and come up with innovative ways to allow the opposition to set the agenda one day a week, for example, as happens in other parliamentary democracies. Otherwise, we will continue to issue such rules and they will continue to be violated,” Mr Tharoor said.

Mr. Tharoor also said that there were several issues that the opposition and Congress would seek to raise during this session, such as the request for withdrawal from the Agnipath program, the tensions caused by the uncontrolled increase in prices, the rise unemployment, the collapse of the rupee which is driving up the price of imports, the situation on the border with China and the impact on India of the war in Ukraine.

“But will the government allow us to raise all these vital questions? said Mr Tharoor.

Asked about the controversy surrounding the emblem installed at the top of the new Parliament building, Mr Tharoor said he had yet to see it with his own eyes.

“If it was indeed changed to make it hostile and powerful rather than calm and benevolent, it would be a travesty,” the congress leader said.

“But if the architects are able to demonstrate and prove that it is just a matter of perspective and that they have been faithful to the original, we would have less to complain about,” Mr Tharoor added.

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